In most interpretations of Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, it is usually deduced that John, the unnamed narrator’s husband in the short story, is a flat character that is used solely for plot advancement. This is most likely due to the combination of indirect discourse, an unreliable narrator, and the ambiguous ending that negatively impacts the reader’s opinion of him. But, if the reader views the short story as a tragedy, John plays a more impactful role in the story. By analyzing the story from an Aristotelian perspective of tragedy, John becomes Gilman’s unintentional tragic hero.
According to a pdf titled “Tragic Hero as Defined by Aristotle”, an Aristotelian tragic hero must possess certain characteristics. I’m going to be taking four of these characteristics and relating them to John to prove he is the tragic hero of “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
Firstly, one of the characteristics of a tragic hero is that they must have a hubris. “A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature” defines hubris as “The tragic flaw in a tragic hero…In Greek drama, heroes are punished for undue pride in themselves” (Guerin et. al 419). Like the Greek tragic hero Oedipus, John’s hubris is his excessive pride. Take this quote for example, “John is away all day, and even some nights when his …show more content…
He suddenly discovers the severity of his wife’s illness but she is too far gone now for him to act. This moment of silence is also the only time in the story where a reader would be able to feel pity for John, pity being an emotion that tragic characters usually elicit in a reader at some point in a tragedy. As mentioned earlier, an anagnorisis will usually make the reversal of fortune, or peripeteia, clear. In the case of “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the anagnorisis foreshadows or sets up the peripetia. When John is able to get the door open to the narrator’s room, this final scene takes
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As was common of the treatment of women during the nineteenth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," is one of oppression as John, the protagonist's physician husband, tries to cure her mental illness with a treatment plan of solitude and rest after moving in hopes his wife will regain her health. While critics have debated what causes the character's eventual insanity, María Teresa González Mínguez suggests that lack of a creative outlet lends to the woman's rapid regression. The protagonist's lack of a creative outlet combined with isolation ensures a downward spiral for the woman as symptoms of her mental illness ultimately consume her. While John hopes monitoring his wife's behaviors will cure her, his efforts only worsen her mental state.
The article “The Tragic Hero in Greek Drama” claims that Sophocles, through the tragic heroes in Antigone and Oedipus the King, suggests, “we could do everything right, act on the best information available, and with the best of intentions, yet still commit unspeakable horrors” (“The Tragic Hero in Greek Drama”). Aristotle, a well-known ancient Greek literary critic, created a definition of a tragic hero. His definition is known as the Aristotelian tragic hero, which has many requirements that the character must possess. Creon is the character that best exemplifies Aristotle’s tragic hero because of his virtue, his hubris, and his realization of his fate; however, others may argue that Antigone is a better example of a tragic hero because of
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero’s pride or arrogance is called hubris. A tragic hero’s hubris causes his or her downfall. John experiences two critical events where his pride causes his downfall. First, John’s pride keeps him from revealing the truth of his affair with Abigail Williams. This starts the beginning of his downfall.
In the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman represents how wretchedness is overlooked and changed into blended sentiments that eventually result in a significantly more profound enduring incongruity. The Yellow Wallpaper utilizes striking mental and psychoanalytical symbolism and an effective women's activist message to present a topic of women' have to escape from detainment by their male centric culture. In the story, the narrator's better half adds to the generalization individuals put on the rationally sick as he confines his significant other from social circumstances and keeps her in an isolated house. The narrator it's made out to trust that something isn't right with her and is informed that she experiences some illness by her own significant other John.
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator is suffering from postpartum depression. The narrator 's husband John, who also happens to be her physician, prescribes the rest cure to help lift his wife of her depressive state and ultimately heal her depression. However, the rest cure does not allow the narrator to experience any mental stimulation. Therefore, to manage her boredom the narrator begins obsessing over the pattern of the yellow wallpaper. After analyzing the pattern for awhile, the narrator witnesses a woman trapped behind bars.
I don’t like it a bit. I wonder— I begin to think—I wish John would take me away from here!” (231). Shortly after the narrator who remains unnamed and her husband John rented an old mansion, the narrator encountered a state of delusion in the wallpaper that surrounded her. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the narrator develops a peculiar relationship with the wallpaper; the author’s use of allusion, symbolism, and personification identifies the existence of the woman’s illness.
In real life, tragedies are often thought of as something people try to avoid. However, in the world of the playwright, tragedies make some of the most popular stories. Tragedies always have to have one thing— a tragic hero. A tragic hero is one who usually falls from an important position because of a fatal flaw, most commonly known as hubris, or pride. The tragic heroes of Oedipus and Antigone are their namesakes and protagonists, Oedipus and Antigone.
She wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” in an effort to open the public’s eyes to the unfairness of this treatment. By infusing Jane’s narrative with childish language and actions without ever actually calling “Jane” by her name, Gilman creates a universal experience any woman of the time could insert herself into. This allowed women to fully realize the injustice they faced. John’s belittlement of Jane also serves to create both a universal and eye opening experience for the women reading it. Additionally, for those who were willing to read into the symbolism, the nursery and the meaning underlying it added to the injustice Gilman conveys.
1. Short stories often utilize suspense to peak a reader 's interest and keep them reading until the end of the story. One story that utilizes suspense is CP Gillman 's "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a woman 's experience with a rest treatment is described through an intriguing stream of consciousness. By looking at how the narrator describes her mental state, and using the syntax of the text, the reader is better able to understand exactly how the narrator is feeling and discern her mental state. In the last section of "The Yellow Wallpaper" CP Gillman destabilizes the reader by using unique syntax to describe the wallpaper and the narrator 's actions illustrating the narrator 's descent into madness.
During the play The Crucible, John Proctor is a character whose tragic flaws of passion and pride lead to his demise. A tragic hero is someone that is a main character that has a tragic fall that eventually leads to their downfall. John’s pride is the major cause of his downfall in the story. Nobody in the play knows about his mistakes other than Elizabeth and Abigail, because he is very ashamed of committing adultery. Elizabeth has to remind him of the commandment he missed: “Adultery, John” (Miller 1278).
(99). The woman on the floor trying to take the wallpaper down would not let her husband in as he tried to knock the door down, but she does not realize she is doing it to herself. For example, Catherine Golden states in her article that, “The narrator seems detached from the bits of wallpaper on the floor next to her and John wallpaper fragments that could be read as a literal representation of the source of her insanity. The narrator’s hallucinations and action of tearing down the wallpaper to free the woman trapped behind the wallpaper pattern condemn her to madness” (60).
In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, author Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses many literary techniques to allow the reader to understand the universal truth that a woman’s class is seen as lower than that of a man’s, due to their sex. We see this truth throughout the literary work, when the main character who is a woman, is put in confinement and later becomesdistraught and mentally unstablebecause her husband and brother who are both Physicians diagnoses her as “nervously depressed”. Two techniques author Gilman uses is tone and diction to illustrate how the narrator, among most women in that time period is treated as below men in class, with little say in their own mental or physical issues. Gilman utilizes tone to illustrate the universal truth of gender being in hand with class status, effectively. In the literary work,the narrator’s tone shifts from hopeless in the beginning, to determine in the end.
The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a story full of imaginative symbolism and descriptive settings. However, without the narrator’s unique point of view and how it affects her perception of her environment, the story would fail to inform the reader of the narrator’s emotional plummet. The gothic function of the short story is to allow the reader to be with the narrator as she gradually loses her sanity and the point of view of the narrator is key in ensuring the reader has an understanding of the narrator’s emotional and mental state throughout the story. It’s clear from the beginning of the story that the narrator’s point of view greatly differs from that of her husband’s and other family in her life.
Charlotte Gilman’s short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, (1899) is a text that describes how suppression of women and their confinement in domestic sphere leads to descend into insanity for escape. The story is written as diary entries of the protagonist, who is living with her husband in an old mansion for the summer. The protagonist, who remains unnamed, is suffering from post-partum depression after the birth of her child and is on ‘rest’ cure by her physician husband. In this paper, I will try to prove that ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ acts as a subversive text by portraying the protagonist’s “descent into madness” as a result of the suppression that women faced in Victorian period.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” Literary Analysis The “Yellow Wallpaper” is a iconic short story written by Charlotte Perkins, a famous feminist author. The novel takes place the 19th century and deals with the issue of how women dealt with mental health issues, specifically postpartum depression. Back in the 19th century the way physicians dealt with women 's mental health was much different then it is today, back then they believed that the cure for depression was solvable by isolation and rest. As a result many women suffering from postpartum depression were forced into isolation which only made their situation worse. Jane; the narrator of the short story, is one of these woman forced into the rest treatment by her physician husband.